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Saga - OT [DDC 2017]Teenage Rebellion--Updated 11/27/2017 (Mara/Ezra/Luke)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jan 3, 2017.


    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 9, 2005

    Poor Luke. That's not how love works. Not the way you are trying at least. Hint. You did great, but you weren't suppose to tell your SO you only did it to get them to love you. Patience man, and stay silent. It's a slow and natural process.

    Oh Mara, what a mess. Don't worry I'm still rooting for Marazra. I'm sure Ezra will forgive you.

    May the Force be with us all.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, Raissa Baiard -- that was so, =D= =D= I adored reading vulnerable!Mara. :D All that jumble and tangle of emotions, so realistic and heart-felt. @};- Kanan's support was terrific, although a bit awkward at first. His advice is definitely spot-on. Now, then. Here's a fangirl set of [:D] [:D] for Luke. :* :* [face_laugh] Seriously can't wait for more. :)
  3. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    That was a very emotional update and my loyalties are severely split between all the three "loving/ hating" parties now (= Mara, Luke and Ezra").

    There indeed has to be some serious talking now.

    I am even a bit grumpy with Luke for having an almost Anakin like approach on the subject of love. Our update reminded me of a line of text from the EotS book that I wanted to use for the next update of my "Legends of the Force, book 1" fanfic:

    Two liquid gems, indescribably precious-because they were his. He had earned them. As he had earned her; as he had earned the child she bore. He had paid for them with innocent blood.”

    This is tainted love, obsession.

    I hope Luke can realize that or he walks down his father´s path.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Woohoo, AzureAngel2 what insightfulness in your review & what an eloquent compelling quote! =D= You can always tell the quality of the fic by the quality of reviews it inspires. :cool: @};- =D=
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Blush, blush, blush, blush, blush, blush!

    * has brain turned into melting bantha butter due to sweet compliment

    But Raissa Baiard is the true genius here! Because she writes a fic that is deep even though it deals with teen stuff. There are a lot of bad teen TV series, even fantasy and SF ones, but her take on the love triangle (for "Mélange-à-trois" would be too far fetched a term!) between Mara, Ezra and Luke is far from being trivial. Even supporting characters, in the truest sense of the word... ;), like Kanan can burn bright like diamonds.

  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    This was perfect. Sure it was full of TEH ANGST, but it was masterfully written. :)

    The sad mooka pup is walking a fine line between a lovesick eccentric and a Nice Guy here and Mara, despite totally falling apart, is still reasonable given the fact that she didn't hit him. Because...who wouldn't have? I love Luke as much as the next SW fan, but I would have slapped him upside his face for this.

    At the same time, Luke's way of thinking is ridiculous to begin with and it has been so all along. You don't become a Jedi to impress somebody, you wermo. You don't learn the Jedi code because you were "meant to be" with somebody. You don't go through all this for a girl, you do all this because you were chosen by the Force and you have chosen the Force.

    Mara had to break sooner or later. Her mistake could be attributed to amusement, to not wanting a conflict; but it was indeed a mistake and it had to backfire. And her break is very emotional, very believable. Say, are you actually a teenager posing as an adult? The fact that she didn't want to turn around, hugging self and eventually crying was depicted so well that it looked like a scene from a movie.

    Kanan shines even brighter than in the previous entry. He is there to solve the situation and I love it that he didn't scold Mara, but instead suggested how to deal with the problem - in the most obvious manner. And the comparison to Doran was great. It's wonderful that Mara has somebody to confide in and that the crew of Ghost are basically like her family away from the family.

    Can't wait for this to continue!
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    MarAngst! :D OK, yes, I know we've been throwing around the word "angst" a lot during the genesis of these chapters, and it's an apt word—but hoo boy, it is all perfectly justified in Mara's case right here. I totally don't blame her for letting Luke have it. I totally don't blame her for wanting to kick the poor little mooka pup. Because, oh good skies, look how immensely misguided his priorities are—you don't learn the ways of the Force just to impress someone and prove to them that you're better! Even a muggle like me knows that's not how it works. And the Force aside, the moment you start doing things to prove that you're better than someone else—well, 99% of the time it only proves the opposite.

    Mara is perspicacious enough to know that—go her for speaking up so forthrightly. "I'm not the prize you get from the Force for becoming a Jedi"—a fantastic line, with echoes of Princess Jasmine's "I am not a prize to be won" in Aladdin. (Appropriately so, since her true love is Space!Aladdin himself! ;) )

    Kanan really shines here. Just oodles of kudos to Space!Dad for the wise, compassionate consolation and advice that he offers Mara at this moment of self-doubt and uncertainty, and for the way he overcomes his own moment of awkwardness and returns her hug. And I can't say enough how much I love the fact that his hug reminds Mara of her dad's hugs—which also highlights the many wonderful commonalities between Kanan and Doran. [face_love] Kanan was of course originally billed as a rogue, a "cowboy Jedi," but he's always had that gentle, caring side that's come out at the right moments. (And isn't that the truth with all the main Rebels characters—they've all turned out to have so much more to them than meets the eye, even over just the two seasons I've caught up with.) A loving father figure is just what Mara needs right about now, and this Space!Dad's advice is spot on: she and Ezra need to talk to each other and get on the same page communication-wise if they want to make things better. You can do it, Marzra—I have every confidence in you! [face_love]
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Luke does have a few things to learn about love, chiefly, if your love interest is already involved with someone, (especially when, despite what you, think he's fundamentally a good person) it's unlikely that any amount of good works is going to sway her. If Mara was unattached, then maybe it would impress her. And yes, for the love of the Force do not tell her that's your devious plan. It's a mess all around, with those who should be talking to each other staying quiet, and those who ought to keep their mouth shut spilling everything.

    Thank you! Mara tries so hard to keep her emotions under control and hidden, but eventually even the strongest walls have to give way under the weight of those tightly wound feelings. And everything just pours out... I think it would be a little awkward for Kanan to have his space!kid's girlfriend suddenly weeping on his shoulder, but Kanan has a good heart. He's a supportive space!dad and he's learned all those lessons about talking to the one you love even and especially about the difficult things the hard way.

    Luke does seem to be treading awfully close to his father's path. He needs to learn that love can't be earned like that. The Force is not going to give Mara to him for being the best Jedi ever. Mara and Ezra aren't the only ones who need to talk. Luke needs to talk to them, too ("I'm sorry" would be a good place to start) and he needs to get his priorities straight. In his favor though, instead of a Sith Lord whispering in his ear, Luke has some friends who can steer him straight; Leia will certainly have a few words for him and he's probably not going to escape getting a good talking to from Space!Dad and Jedi Kanan, either. Perhaps the combination can kick him hard enough to put him on a new path.

    Blush blush blush indeed! [face_blush] Thank you so much! Star Wars has always focused on young people (Luke & Leia, Anakin, Rey), but it has so much appeal to all ages because it also focuses on universal themes of love and family, good and evil, loss and change. I hope that in some way, I've captured some of those themes, too.
    I looked up "Nice Guy" in the Urban Dictionary...hmm, Luke's not quite there yet, but getting there. I guess I wouldn't put him quite there yet, because he really does like Mara, and he's trading on all those good nice guy things to get him love and not...action. But yes, the point stands, it's all very well to do nice things for someone you're interested in, but it isn't the currency that buys you love or anything else. He is lucky that Mara fell apart rather than exploding, because she could have opened a serious can of whup-shebs on him even before Kanan could have stepped in. :p

    Yes to everything you just said. Luke's let his motivations get pretty skewed along the way here (what happened to "I want to be a Jedi like my father"?) He needs to get a few things straight in his mind before he continues.

    Yes, I am a teenager who has constructed a rich fantasy life as a 40-something housewife. Because isn't that every girl's fantasy? :p No, seriously, thank you [face_blush] I was just a very stupid teenager in my day, and now I'm doing something useful with the vivid memories of my own stupidity and angst...therapy? A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B?

    It's hard to let kids make their own mistakes, but at some point, all the scolding in the Galaxy doesn't help. It may be just a touch easier for Kanan to steer Mara the right direction rather than than lecturing , because she's not his Space!kid or his padawan, and somehow it's easier to be objective when you have that bit of a remove from the situation. At the same time, he does have the compassion that Mara desperately needs at that moment. Kanan's similarities to Doran are actually what set this whole universe into motion; reading A New Dawn I was so struck by the similarities between the two, I immediately started looking for ways to bring them together. Little did I know that Ezra was going to want in on the act (as he is wont to do). And the whole crew of the Ghost has really taken Mara under their wing which bodes well for the future, don't you think?

    Yep, that's not how the Force works, and it's not how love works, either. And for the bolded part--ouch!--but you're totally right. Luke has in no way proved himself to be the better man here (which is not to say that Ezra has been a paragon lately, either, but still...). The Better Man is not actively trying to woo someone else's girlfriend away with bad poetry.
    Thank you! I think it must have been unconscious--Disney on the brain!--but I love it

    I wholeheartedly about the characters from Rebels. They are all so much more than they initially seemed; even Chopper has hidden depths of character. And I hope that the same is true of Doran, who's not nearly as cynical as he liked to pretend at first. Though after reading Kanan's backstory comic, I'd dare say that Doran is in some ways even more of a rogue than Kanan. (And someday, I'd love for Doran to meet Yoda again. I bet he'd have a few choice words for the little gnome...and likewise the little green gnome might have a few words for him).

    And now for Ezra to get a little good advice and space!parenting....
  9. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    As always, thanks to Findswoman and Ewok Poet for beta reading and support @};-


    I did not exactly meditate once I went back to my cabin, unless by “meditate” you mean “sit on Zeb’s bunk and stare blankly into space wondering why the Force hates me.”

    Am I destined to lose everyone and everything I love? My parents are gone, my home was destroyed, I haven’t even seen my planet in years. And now I’ve lost Mara, too….

    I thought the Force brought us together. I thought the way it hummed when we were together meant something. I thought she was my journey’s end... How stupid was I to believe any of that? How stupid was I to believe the Force really sent messages in sabacc cards? How stupid was I to think it cared anything about Ezra Bridger once the Chosen One was involved?


    I didn’t hear the door open, didn’t notice Hera standing in the doorway until she said my name. The worried mom look was written all over her face. Behind her, Zeb peered into our cabin, and even he looked uncharacteristically subdued.

    “Are you alright?” Hera asked, stepping tentatively inside. “We heard all the shouting outside.”

    No, I wasn’t alright. I was empty, nothing left inside but a hollow ache. I should have locked the cabin door; I couldn’t to face anyone right now, not even Hera, and especially not Zeb. But I didn’t even have the energy to turn away from her. I didn’t want to talk either, but the words ripped out of me anyway. “I’ve lost her, Hera. She doesn’t love me…”

    “What? What happened?” She crossed the cabin floor in two quick strides and sat down next to me on the lower bunk, putting an arm around my shoulders.

    “Skywalker.” The name left a bitter taste in my mouth and a bitter note in my voice. “He’s been after Mara since she came to Yavin...mooning after her, staring at her. And now...he’s been writing her poems. For weeks. She never told me.” I shook my head, closing my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see the looks of pity that Hera and Zeb were giving me. “I think… I think she loves him…” As painful as it was to think it, saying it out loud was like twisting a vibro-shiv in my heart, because admitting it made it real.

    “Oh, Ezra…”

    “Right.” Zeb slammed one solid purple fist into the palm of his other hand. His face contorted into the look that said he was ready to do some serious bashing. “I’m gonna go pound that mooka-faced flyboy’s worthless shebs so far into the ground they’re gonna need an excavator droid to find him! You with me, kid?”

    I have to admit there was something a little attractive to the idea of setting Zeb loose on Skywalker. I mean…fourteen Force-awful love poems to my girlfriend? He kinda deserved a good bashing, at least a little, right? But I knew Kanan would say it was Not Worthy of a Jedi and Wouldn’t Solve Anything. Hera apparently took the same view; she shot Zeb a reproving frown. “Zeb! Let me handle this, please, before you do anything rash.”

    “But, Hera, this is about a man’s honor!” he cried, all righteous indignation. The fact that he referred to me as a man and not “the kid” might have cheered me a little, except I got the feeling Zeb was just as concerned with his honor in being associated with me.

    Hera wasn’t having any of it. She pressed her lips into a flat line and raised an eyebrow. “Zeb.”

    I guess even Zeb is not immune to Hera’s “mom” looks. “Oh, all right,” he huffed, turning to go. He paused in the doorway, adding, “But I’ve got your back when you’re ready to show mooka-face who’s boss.” which earned him another Very Stern Look from Hera.

    She sighed as he stomped off down the hall muttering about where certain mooka-faced runts got off stealing other people’s girls. “So, what happened out there, Ezra?” Hera asked, her green eyes searching mine. “Did Mara sayshe was in love with Luke?”

    “No, but she didn’t have to.” How could I not have seen it? How could I not have known all this time? “Moof-milker” did not even begin to cover the level of my stupidity. “He’s written her fourteen love poems and she never said a thing to me. Why would she do that unless she wanted the poems...unless she wanted…” I broke off, choking under another wave of despair, and laughed bitterly. “He’s the Chosen One; of course she wants him! Why did I ever think she’d want a Loth-rat like me?”

    “What do you mean he’s the ‘Chosen One’?” Hera asked, brow furrowing.

    “You remember my vision? The one about the key to defeating the Sith?” It kind of made me sick to my stomach now, everything I’d gone through for that vision, everything I’d done, everything I’d lost--everything my friends had lost--only for it to lead to Skywalker. Only to lead to this.

    “The one about Obi-Wan Kenobi?” Her frown deepened. She knew how hard Kanan and I had both looked to find the answer, probably better than anyone else did.

    “…” I shook my head again. “I mean, I thought it was him...but I was wrong. Obi-Wan was on Tatooine with Skywalker. Protecting him. Training him. He wasn’t the key to defeating the Sith. Skywalker is.” How could you choose him? I wanted to ask the Force. Why does he get everything? Haven’t I done enough for you? You really do have a perverse sense of humor, don’t you? No, don’t think about that.

    “You’re sure about that?” Hera’s voice cut into my latest wave of self-pity. She looked almost as dumbfounded as I had felt when I’d figured it out. “Kanan’s never said…”

    “I kind of never mentioned it to him.” I admitted, hunching my shoulders. Just what I needed right now--one more thing to feel guilty about.

    She raised an eyebrow at me, her lekku twitching. “And you kind of never mentioned it to Mara, either, did you?”


    “The two of you might be having a bit of communication problem.” Hera gave a slight shake of her head, her eyes rolling skyward--in a silent plea for patience in dealing with stupid moof-milkers, probably. “Ezra, besides not mentioning these poems, has Mara ever given you any reason to believe she has feelings for Luke?”

    “Well…” She’d always been nicer to him than I thought she should be, but not any nicer than she was to, say, Zeb. And there’d been a lot of times I thought Mara should have told Skywalker to kark off, but I guess that didn’t necessarily mean she had feelings for him.

    “And did she say why she didn’t tell you about them?”

    The tiny bit of hope I’d started to feel squashed flat. “She said she was protecting Skywalker!”

    “Mara said that?”

    Okay, not exactly, but… “She said she was afraid of me getting angry at him!”

    Hera raised her eyebrow a little higher this time. “And did you?”

    “Well, yeah....but, Hera, he deserved it! Fourteen love poems! And he’s always staring at Mara and following her around. Since Sabine gave Mara those green streaks, he’s practically been panting after her! What was I supposed to do, just politely ask him to please leave my girlfriend alone, Master Chosen One? Okay, thanks! Yeah, I’m sure he’d have been more than happy to listen, since we all know how much Skywalker likes and respects me!”

    She listened without speaking until my resentful diatribe finished and I waited for the inevitable rebuke--control your emotions, Ezra. A Jedi doesn’t act out of anger. And, oh by the way, the Council was obviously right to forbid attachments if this is the way you’re going to be. Except that this was Hera, not Kanan, and her eyes were understanding even though her mouth was still set in a flat line. “Mmm-hmm. Ezra, listen to me. Mara’s been working very hard to train Luke because she feels the Force has called her to do it. You and Luke sniping at each other constantly hasn’t made things easy for her. She feels caught in the middle.” Hera sighed. “Mara might not have made the best decision when she didn’t tell you about the poems, but that doesn't mean she doesn’t love you. And if you love her, then you have to trust her. And talk to her.”

    It was my turn to sigh. Just talk to her. Like it was really going to be that easy. What if she didn’t want to talk to me? What if she and Skywalker were together right now? “What difference will that make? Skywalker’s still the Chosen One, and I’m still just a Loth-rat.”

    “Ezra,” Hera said gently, her arm tightening around my shoulders. “You've never been just a Loth-rat. Especially not to Mara. Talk to her.”
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful advice. I hope it sinks in and does some good, like Ezra immediately, this very second, goes and talks to Mara. Because Hera is right. She never did say she wanted Luke, and being the Chosen One in and of itself wouldn't make Mara fall in love with someone else. The absolute central fact is Mara should have said something about the poems but she definitely felt caught in the middle [face_thinking]

    I'm always so happy, happy when this is updated. :D @};-
  11. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 9, 2005
    Communication is the key! Even if Mara reject you, Ezra, let her have the opportunity to tell you herself, with her own words, from her own mouth. It's useless to fantasize what may go right or go wrong. Talk to each other!

    edit: Hey, Ezra, you and Master Chosen One can still be friends! lol ;)
  12. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Yes, communication is exactly the key in any relationship, DARTH_MU! =D=

    But luckily we have Hera who is fantastic at that. I hope Ezra will listen to her advice.
  13. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Just caught up and boy, did it get real here! :eek: I feel really bad for all of them, even though I find myself being angry at Luke along with Mara and Ezra (and even though they did not cover themselves in glory here either). :( The reactions from Ezra and Mara feel very realistic; I can remember that sort of all-consuming I Have Ruined All Things Forever sense from my own teenage years. This mess is all of their faults now even if Luke started the ball rolling, and they're going to have to find a way to repair things if they don't want it to get worse. I'm so glad they have Kanan and Hera, who are space parenting at a championship level here. [face_love]
  14. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Hera knows what she is talking about...and of course, she has the benefit of having heard Mara's take on Luke's awful, arboreal poetry. I think Ezra would have some lingering issues with abandonment and feeling that he's nothing more than a street-rat, even after spending five years with his loving space!family. In a moment like this, it's all too easy for him to give in to those insecurities. And Mara could have made a better decision and talked to him about the poetry, but she's still walling off her emotions.

    And thank you so much. I can't say how happy it makes me that you enjoy it [:D]
    Communication definitely is key! Making assumptions about someone else's motives or feelings is a dangerous thing; you'll be wrong more than you're right. Hera, at least, understands that.

    And you know, I really think Luke and Ezra could be good friends, if they could ever actually talk to each other--communication again--they have a few things in common: Force-sensitivity, the loss of their families, quirky droid sidekicks....Mara :D
    Hera's given Ezra a lot to think about, but he respects her and listens to her. Now he just has to swallow his pride and insecurities and follow through on that good advice.
    Yep, the poodoo has hit the fan. :p Some very bad decisions have been made all around. Mara should not have tried to keep it all to herself and overlook everything instead of dealing with things. Ezra should have mentioned that whole Chosen One thing and not gone off half-cocked when he found the poem. Luke...where to begin? Luke should have taken the hint when he realized Mara was dating Ezra, or when she told him they could only be friends, or from the stunning lack of response to his literary masterpieces, or... It's not going to be easy for them to get past this mess; once again, it all comes back to communication. If they can ever learn to be honest with and listen to one another, they might just make it. Good thing the Space!parents are there to steer them in the right direction. After this day, Kanan and Hera deserve a couple margaritas in the Ghost's common area after the kids are in bed...oy!
  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to Findswoman and Ewok Poet, for betas, support and suggestions. [:D] always!

    Ezra, cont’d

    As if on cue--or as if the Force had been listening--there was a quick tap at the door, so light I almost thought I’d imagined it. “Ezra?”

    “Mara!” I jumped off Zeb’s bunk, my heart thudding with hope and fear, and dashed to the door.

    She stood in the corridor, hesitating at the threshold to my cabin. Her eyes were red-rimmed as if she’d been crying and her face was kind of blotchy, too, but she was my beautiful Ace. I never felt so glad and yet so nervous to see her. For once, all Mara’s shields were down, and I could sense the stormy sea of emotions churning around her in the Force--hope flowing into anxiety flowing into fear and back into to hope as she looked at me. Almost hidden all those swirling emotions was a steady current. My heart thumped harder when I recognized it--love. Impossible as it seemed, Mara still loved me!

    As we stood in the doorway, gaping at each other like a couple of really surprised giju, Hera cleared her her throat. “I’ll just let the two of you talk,” she said, rising, and I didn’t miss the emphasis she put on “talk”. She laid a hand on my shoulder and gave it an encouraging squeeze as she slipped past us into the hall.


    “Ezra, I…” We both broke off. I gave an awkward, strangled laugh; Mara shook her head and held up a hand. “No, let me go first. I’m sorry.” She took a deep breath, and I knew how much she wanted to pull up all her shields, and lock away all her fears. “You were right; I should have told you about Luke and the poems. I guess I thought if I ignored them, he’d stop…but he didn’t, and I just…”

    “Why didn’t you say anything?” Fourteen poems, how could you not say anything? Even after everything Hera had said, even after Mara’s apology, it still hurt. “Why didn’t you come to me? You know I would have…”

    A spark flared in her green eyes, a flash of indignation shooting through her Force presence like lightning. “I know! And that’s why I didn’t!” She sighed in frustration and forced down her annoyance, but there was a sense of anguish around Mara as she continued. “You and Luke have been like a couple of scrapping tookas'. Over me! I never wanted that. You don’t know what that was like, wondering if the two of you were going to get into it, even after I told him we could only be friends, even after I told you Luke would never be more than my friend!”

    Scrapping tookas? Not a very flattering comparison, but that was how Mara had seen the way Skywalker and I had acted--an annoyance, a complication--one she’d wished would just go away. She should have been able to tell me what was going on, but my attitude hadn’t really encouraged her. And I should have believed Mara when she said she only loved me, but I’d let all my old insecurities get in the way. We should have been able to trust each other; we should have talked to one another. “Mara, I’m sorry, too.” I reached out to her, pulled her close--still half afraid she’d push me away--and held her as tightly as I could. “I just couldn’t stand the thought of losing you!”

    “You’re not going to lose me!” Mara returned my embrace just as fiercely, but as she nestled her head against me, her Force-presence shifted from vehement back to despondent. “Especially not to Luke,” she murmured into my shoulder, her voice low and flat. “Especially not now.”

    “What do you mean?” And why did I suddenly have a Very Bad Feeling?

    Her expression was tired and defeated when she looked up at me, “I told him not to come back. I can’t teach him anymore.”

    “Because of the poems?” Because of me? I did my best to silence the gloating little part of me that was sneering yeah, take that Master Chosen One! because that was definitely Not Worthy of a Jedi, especially when Mara radiated pure misery. She thought she’d failed her mission to the Force by sending him away, and nothing could be worse for her than failing her duty.

    “Because he said he did everything to show me we were meant to be together, like if he became a Jedi, I was going to fall in love with him.” Mara swiped a tear away with the back of her hand and pressed her lips together, trying hard not to give in to her emotions. “You were right about him all along; the only reason he was there was to try to impress me. I’m no teacher. I never was.”

    “Oh, Ace...I’m sorry, I…” I pulled her close again, putting as much reassurance as I could into the embrace, but, could getting what I'd hoped for make me feel like I’d been kicked in the stomach by a bantha? I wanted Skywalker gone. I wanted Mara to tell him to get lost, but not like this. I never wanted her to be miserable. I never wanted her to feel like she’d failed. It wasn’t her fault; none of this was her fault. She wasn’t the one who should feel guilty. Skywalker was the one who couldn’t take a hint. And, well, kinda my fault, too… “So, um...there's something I probably need to tell you: Skywalker...I’m pretty sure he’s the new Chosen One.”

    Mara jolted in my arms, her eyes gone wide. “What?!? How…?!

    Confession is supposed to be good for you, and maybe it is--eventually--but at that moment I wished I could hide in the cargo hold and not come out until next Taungsday. “I told you about everything with Maul, the Sith holocron, and my vision-- the one I thought was about Obi-Wan Kenobi--right?”

    “Kenobi?” Mara frowned. “That’s where I heard the name before! From you...Wait, what do you mean you thought your vision was about him?”

    Maybe I could stay in the cargo hold until the Taungsday after next. “He was on Tatooine with Skywalker--because of Skywalker. To protect him. To teach him. Because Kenobi wasn’t the one who was going to defeat the Sith. Skywalker is.”

    The blood rushed from her face, and Mara staggered a step backwards, sagging against the door frame. " Oh good skies! Oh. Good. Skies… Luke… I told him not to come back. I told him I didn’t care if he ever became a Jedi!” All her shields slammed back into place, but not before I felt the wave of despair that swamped her. She’d condemned herself as an utter failure before, and now she believed she’d failed not just the Force but its Chosen One. “No…. Oh, no... what am I going to do?!?”

    I took both of her hands and pulled her back into my arms. I didn’t deserve the way way she clung to me, not when more than just kind of my fault for not mentioning this, but I held her anyway, hoping that I seemed more reassuring than I really felt. “It’s okay; we’ll fix things. Kanan…he’ll know what to do.” At least I hoped so-- since I hadn’t said anything to him about Luke either

    He was already in the common area, waiting for us. “Hey, Kanan, uh, we kind of need to talk to you.”

    “Yes, you do. Hera mentioned your little...oversight about Luke. You’re really sure this time?” Kanan might not come right out and chew me out in front of Mara, but he really didn’t have to. There was more than just a trace of reproof and disbelief in his inflection….Very disappointed in you, young man.

    “Yeah. I’m really sure.” Believe me,I wanted to say I wish I wasn’t. I wish it was anyone else but Skywalker. “Twin suns. Obi-Wan. His dad being the last Chosen all fits.”

    Mara sank onto one of the stools next to the dejarik table, slumping, elbows on the table and her head in her hands. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have told him to go. If I’d have known, I would have...I don’t know. Something…” I sat down on the stool next to her and squeezed her hand. I wanted to make everything right for Mara’s sake, but part of me...well, part of me would still have been just as happy to see Skywalker gone, Chosen One or not. No more horrible love poems, no more smirking mooka-face, no more I’ll-Show-You-Bridger lightsaber lessons. It all sounded pretty good to to me. Not worthy of a Jedi, but...yeah.

    Kanan leaned forward, laying a hand on Mara's arm. “You had no idea, and I can’t really blame you for being upset with Luke. His actions and motivations…” He shook his head, with the Very Frustrated Jedi scowl I recognized only too well--because it was usually directed at me--and sighed. “Still, we can only go forward from where we are.” His scowl faded into a pensive frown. “Mara, tell me, when you had your vision about coming to Yavin, what exactly was it?”

    “It wasn’t a vision. More of a feeling, a leading.” Mara pursed her lips, considering. “And... well, I just knew that I had to come here. That Yavin was where I needed to be, where I was supposed to go.”

    “But it didn’t specifically say anything about training Luke?”

    “, not specifically.” A tiny bit of doubt crept in at the edges of her Force-sense. And I had to wonder, too: if Mara wasn’t meant to train him, what was she supposed to be doing on Yavin? If she wasn’t meant to train him, who was? I had another bad feeling I knew what Kanan’s answer was going to be, and I wasn’t sure I really liked that solution, either.

    “Hmmm.” You could hear hear the way Kanan’s furrowed brow in that speculative murmur, even if you couldn’t see it for his mask. He drummed his fingers against the dejarik table. “Have you considered that the Force might have had other reasons for bringing you here?”

    Okay, have to admit I perked up a little at that. Because that was kind of what I’d been hoping all along. If she wasn’t here to train Skywalker, then maybe, just maybe, the real reason she was here was...for me? It seemed to good to hope for, and yet...

    “But… if I was sent here to help Luke…?” That seed of doubt in her presence was sending out creeping tendrils of confusion. I knew Mara had been positive she was doing what the Force wanted her to do. She’d been working so hard at it, and it was more than just Corellian-stubborn that kept her going. You might not have thought she would have learned much about honor and duty from a cantina owner and an Imperial officer, but her parents put those ideals above anything except maybe family. Now she had to be wondering if she’d been chasing down the wrong path after all, wondering if everything she’d done had been for nothing.

    I squeezed her hand a little harder. *Whatever it is, Ace, you know I’m here.* Like I should have been this whole time.

    “You have helped him. But helping him doesn’t necessarily mean you have to train him. And,” Kanan continued, holding up one hand to forestall another objection, “It doesn’t mean you have to be the one in charge. For right now, it might be best to let someone else take the lead.”


    “Mara, stepping back doesn't mean you failed. It means you have the wisdom not to put yourself in a position that's going to be unnecessarily difficult for you. I won’t tell you you can’t keep training Luke, but I’d be willing to take take the lead, at least until you and Luke are on better terms.”

    Yeah, I called that one. Seems like there’s no getting rid of that stray mooka. I guess having my master being his instructor is better than having my girlfriend do it, right? Kind of? I guess? Still, why couldn’t he just go away? Even if he was the Chosen One, did that really make him our problem? (Never mind, don’t answer that…) I realized I was holding my breath and holding Mara’s hand a little too tight as I waited for her to answer.

    Mara bit her lip uncertainly. I don’t think she was quite convinced, no matter what Kanan said, and the Force started to cloud up around her again. Maybe she’d accepted that she hadn’t failed, but I knew that giving up would be almost as bad for her. And I knew how much it cost her when she finally sighed. “I…thanks, Kanan. That...that might be the best thing.”

    He patted her arm again, nodding. “I’ll take care of things with Luke tomorrow. Why don’t you find Hera and Sabine and head to dinner? It’s nuna surprise tonight. Not you, Ezra. We’re not finished yet,” he added as I stood up to go with her, and Understanding Kanan was suddenly replaced by Very Stern Jedi Master. It looked like I wasn’t going to escape getting chewed out after all.

    Mara rolled her eyes, and gave me a sympathetic smile. “May the Force be with you,” she murmured, leaning over to kiss me, just lightly since Kanan was there watching--or whatever it is he does--but I heard the Force humming, sweet and clear, for that brief second our lips touched.

    *Love you, Ace.* The kiss and her smile put a big sappy smile on my face, which lasted until I turned back to Kanan. But his glower couldn’t make me stop grinning inside. Mara still loved me, and not even the worst lecture could dim the warmth of that feeling.

    “So, you just ‘kind of never mentioned’ Luke might be the key to defeating the Sith?” Kanan’s tone was already edging past “a bit cross” and into “really angry”, and he was just getting started.

    I sank back down onto the stool. “Look, Kanan, I’m really sorry… I just…” I sighed. How was I going to explain this to him? Kanan was never going to believe that I hadn’t planned to keep this a secret. It just kind of happened that way. “I guess I hoped it wasn’t true. I didn’t want it to be true, because if it was…”

    “You thought Mara would choose him instead of you? Ezra…” Kanan shook his head, and his sigh was louder and more exasperated than mine. “This rivalry between you and Luke hasn’t exactly brought out the best in you, you know. You’ve thrown rocks at Luke’s head, used the Force to rip his pants…”

    “Hey! I didn’t throw the rocks at his head, no matter what he said!” Why does everyone think that? The closest I ever came was the rock that hit him in the shoulder. “And I never meant for them to hit him.” Because if I’d wanted to hit Skywalker in the head, I could have.

    Kanan’s mouth twitched sardonically. “I stand corrected. You know, I stayed out of your petty squabbling until now because I hoped you boys would be mature enough to realize we’re all on the same side. But withholding crucial information because you thought it would make Mara--”

    “I said I was sorry!”

    “Sorry’s only a start!” He rose, pushing himself up with his palms flat on the dejarik table. “Do you realize how much harder you may have made things for all of us? You’re a Jedi; your first priority has to be defeating the Empire. If you can’t separate your…”

    “Is this going to be more about why the Jedi were right not to have attachments?” It always came back to that, didn't it? Even though Kanan was more than just a little attached to Hera, when it came to me and Mara, it was all about non-attachment. Did he even realize how he sounded? Do as I say, not as I do… I stood up, too, and shot back at him. “Because I really don’t think you’re in any…”

    “Ezra! Would you please be quiet and listen for once?” Kanan cut in, raising his voice to be heard over me. He sighed again and sank back down onto the acceleration couch. “Look, I know that I’m not in any position to forbid you to see Mara--and it wouldn't do any good if I did. I understand more about these kind of attachments than you seem to think. But as a Jedi, your duty has to come before your own desires. If you can’t find a better balance between your responsibilities and your feelings for Mara...I’m afraid you've got some hard choices to make.” about a lecture that keeps you up all night, thinking. Because I couldn’t actually argue with anything Kanan had said. Okay, I could, and I tried, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. I had put my relationship with Mara ahead of my mission to defeat the Sith when I didn't tell anyone my suspicions about Skywalker. I’d let my dislike of him color my judgement, and I’d only made things harder for Mara--for all of us--in the process.

    I have to do better. I have to find the balance, like Kanan said. I can’t stop being a Jedi, but I won’t give up Mara, either. I love her, and it I know it sounds crazy but that’s as much a part of me as being a Jedi is.

    So… Meditate. Balance. Emotions, yet peace.

    I’ll do better.

    I have to. For all of us.
  16. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    May 14, 2017
    Disaster averted.
    Now what is Luke going to do?!
    Maybe he could talk to Sabine?
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and Raissa Baiard like this.
  17. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    May 14, 2017
    New 'ship Lukabine?
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb conversations! You can feel how hard it was for Mara and Ezra to unburden themselves but how reassuring to find out their feelings were still true and there for the other. Ezra shows a lot of humility and openness with what kanan said although hearing it was not easy and doing will be harder, [face_thinking] but he can have both: duty and a relationship, but he was letting emotions and jealousy etc. cloud his choices and judgment. @};-
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, twofer time!

    Ezra, 22 August
    Yes, ladies and gents, we have EzrAngst!1! It’s hard not to feel at least a little sorry for him given all that’s happened—in a way I just want to kind of yell out to him, “Hey Ezra! Don’t beat yourself up! You are NOT ‘just a loth-rat’! The Force DOES care about you, it most certainly has an important role for you to play, and no amount of moofmilkeraceous behavior on the part of your co-padawan will EVER make that untrue!” <3 Yet at the same time, there is nothing like jumping to conclusions to create AENGSTT in large quantities—and it’s not like he’s been totally innocent of moofmilkeraceous behavior himself of late. But we see in this chapter Ezra’s first steps toward correcting some of that, and that is encouraging indeed.

    We also have some mighty fine ZeBluster. You know I love how Zeb gets all righteously indignant on Ezra’s behalf here—nor do I blame Ezra for coming thiiiiis close to taking him up on it (and it’s quite a mental image too)! “This is about a man’s honor”—wow, that’s a pretty impressive thing for Zeb to say, since it shows that he now considers his little!space!bro a Man in Possession of Honor.

    Finally, though, and most importantly, we have the HerAdvice. This is JUST EXACTLY the message Ezra needs to hear right now, and there is no better person to deliver it than his own faithful, wise space!mom. Communication is key. Thinking things through is key. And not jumping to unwarranted conclusions is most definitely key. Plus, because Hera has heard Mara’s side of the story too, she can not only offer Ezra good advice but also advocate for Mara—and I am so, so glad she has the opportunity here to tell Ez exactly how miserable his and Luke’s constant sniping have been making things for Mara.

    So yes, Mr. Loth-angst, talk to her—we are sentient beings, gifted with speech, and this is what it’s for! (And yeah, while you’re at it, better use that gift of speech to clue Kanan in about the Chosen One, too. :p )

    Ezra, cont’d, 4 September
    All right, I’ll start by saying that Ezra is very lucky to be a Force-sensitive right now—because a Regular Muggle Like You and Me would not have found such a quick answer to the "she loves me, she loves me not" question. :p It's a relief that that question gets settled as quickly as it does, given how many other issues are looming here as well. And here again I want to yell out, this time to Mara, "Don't feel bad! It's not your fault! You couldn't have known about Luke being the Chosen One!" But she's already got both Ezra and Kanan doing a much, much better job of that than I ever could, so I'll let them. :D

    Kanan shines once again here. He tells it like it is to Ezra and shows true understanding to Mara. And what's more, he guides Mara to a better, more rational understanding of the task given to her by the Force. Because we see that she too, has jumped to some conclusions, just as he had—conclusions that are only multiplying her own angst. As with Ezra's chat with Hera in the previous chapter, this is PRECISELY what she needs to hear right now, and if she takes it to heart it will lift a huge load from her. "Stepping back doesn't mean you failed"—that is such important advice for us driven sorts who feel like we HAVE TO PUSH THROUGH AT ALL COSTS even when it's wearing us to the ground. It's good that Ez finally bites the bullet and comes clean about the Chosen One business, though here too this KanAdmonition is exactly what he needs right now: he needs to keep his eye on the ball and remember who and what it is that they're fighting against. And because this is a Raissa story, I have the feeling he will not have to compromise his love for Mara in order to do so, however rough Kanan's ultimatum may sound to him now. And how rough is Kanan's ultimatum, really? Here too his understanding side comes through—he does know about this sort of attachment, which means he probably knows a lot about how to balance it. (And yet, even as I write that, a particular passage in the Season 4 trailer is coming to mind... :eek: )

    So yes, once again, much to think about for Ezra. Emotions, yet peace. Angst, yet equanimity. Mooka-faced co-padawans, yet calm. You can do it, Ez! =D=
  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I have to do better. I have to find the balance, like Kanan said. I can’t stop being a Jedi, but I won’t give up Mara, either. I love her, and it I know it sounds crazy but that’s as much a part of me as being a Jedi is.

    So… Meditate. Balance. Emotions, yet peace.

    I’ll do better.

    I have to. For all of us.

    At least Ezra switched into a different kind of mood and being reflective is never wrong. Especially for somebody who is supposed to stand on the light side.
  21. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Ezra, August 23rd:

    Now, that's some angst! I am not sure if Ezra is surpassing Mara here, but he's pretty close. And since he goes on for two entries...hmm.

    Love the use of the leitmotif from "In the Cards" here, even though Ezra himself is doubting it.

    Aww, Ezra, that is not how it works. ;)

    And Zeb is all about diplomacy! I mean, a man's honour. I mean, whatever. I am glad that Hera stopped him and that Ezra was aware that revenge was not the way of the Jedi. This is a delicate situation and violence is not the answer.

    Hera is being logical here, but it seems that all Ezra can do is beating himself up. Loth-rat? Boy, you are so much more than that! And in this confusion regarding the vision Ezra had (I didn't get to that point in Rebels, so I hope I got this right!), I am glad that she is ending up telling him the only logical thing - that he should talk to Mara.

    Ezra, September 05th:

    Of course that the Force was listening. It sent Mara straight to Ezra's doorstep! They were both crying, they both care about each other and they both had their Force shields down. The moment before they both speak is lovely, probably my favourite section of the whole entry.

    Scrapping tookas is a fitting comparison - whether Ezra likes it or not. The insecurities he's talking about make him one of those, I'm afraid.

    Now, Mara is not right when she says that she is not a teacher - Luke's missunderstanding of what the teaching is for does not invalidate her and she shouldn't be crying. At the same time, I understand why she does think that - Luke would've frustrated the best of the teachers and well, he does that in TESB. :p

    The moment where Ezra and Mara's realisations come together is splendid and masterfully written.

    I would have something to say about Kanan's role in the chapter, but Findswoman did it all before me. Darn! I can nothing but second what she said.
  22. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Luke will find a way to carry on somehow, I'm sure. As for Sabine...I'm not sure she would be very interested in Luke if he tried to chat her up. She's fully aware he's been trying to steal her little Space!Bro's girl and Mara's been sharing all of Luke's dreadful poetry with her. He'd be lucky if she didn't kick his shebs--literally--for the presumption. ;)

    Thank you :) Those kinds of conversations are never easy; admitting you're wrong and leaving yourself open and vulnerable to someone--even when it's someone you love--is enough to make the strongest heart quail. But because they do love each other, and because they're really listening and talking to each other now, Mara and Ezra are able to come through it, hopefully all the stronger. Likewise, Kanan's advice isn't easy for Ezra to hear, but since he remains open and really thinks about his master's words, he can move forward with a new resolve.
    Oh yes, nothing like a Teenager in Love for TEH ANGST! Ezra's feeling about as low as can be, thinking that he's lost Mara, and seeing it as the latest in a series of losses. Who can blame him for feeling a little insecure and self-critical? Even after years with a loving space!family, there's got to be a tiny part of him that still fears he'll be abandoned, that still believes he's nothing special or good. All those insecurities and self-doubt just compound the misery. But Hera is here to talk him through it and she sees that none of his doubts and fears are true.

    Under other circumstances, Ezra would probably be cheered to hear Zeb say it (and never, ever, ever let him forget he had). And I think Zeb really does mean it sincerely; he knows that Ezra has become far more than the 14-year-old thief he was when they met. But for Zeb the answer to this insult to his little brother is best solved with his fists: "Hello, my name is Garazeb Orrelios, you insulted my brother. Prepare to get bashed."
    Yes, Hera supplies the patient, understanding voice Ezra needs right now. She gently points out how he's leapt to conclusions in both the things Mara said and didn't say. She doesn't let him off the hook for his actions, but steers him towards a better path.

    Ezra is lucky on many counts here; whether he sees it or not, the Force is still on his side and Mara's side. He can sense her feelings are still there, because she's left her shields down and left herself open--and vulnerable. Despite their fears, both of them take the space!parents' admonition to talk to each other to heart. To Ezra's credit, he doesn't let that gloating voice take over and supports Mara.

    Mara and Ezra both have made some big assumptions and some poor decisions based on those assumptions. Good thing that Kanan and Hera are there to provide the guidance that they need in these circumstances. The KanAdmonition...well, as much as he does understand attachments (much more than Ezra sees when Kanan's in Jedi Master mode), Kanan looks at the bigger picture first. He's not going to let Ezra go without calling him on his recent behavior. He really doesn't give Ezra an ultimatum, per se, but he does tell it like it is. And regarding the black part: Season 4? What Season 4? This is an AU :D

    Love your addition to the Code here...definitely a useful mantra for Ezra , and Mara, too.

    Whatever wild theories are out there about Ezra, I truly believe he's on the Light Side. He may have his moments of weakness, but he is human, and does his best to overcome them. He's got a great family to support him, too. Self-reflection is the first step towards a new understanding and action.

    Well, he gets two entries worth because I chose to use his POV. I'm sure Mara would be full of MarAngst if she'd been narrating. ;)

    It must seem a little unbelievable to him in the depths of his angst, but Doran would tell him that the Force works in strange ways :D

    No, but AAAAAAANNGSTTT1!!1!

    Zeb's brand of honor is straight out of medieval times. He would have been a very honorable knight, proving his honor by the strength of his good right arm, and throwing his gauntlet in Luke's mooka face!

    Hera is able to see things from the outside, while Ezra's still looking through the lens of his fears and doubts. Regarding, Ezra's vision--I've tried to keep things vague so as not to spoil things for those who aren't at that point yet, but PM if you want details. Suffice it to say, he didn't receive this vision under the best circumstances, and I think there are factors that could have complicated its interpretation.

    I'm glad you caught the part about Mara's shields being down. She comes to Ezra with her emotional shields down on purpose--a huge step for her, and a mark of how much she loves him, even in a moment when they're both hurting.

    Yep, as Kanan points out, the rivalry hasn't really brought out the best in Ezra. If only he'd realized there was no need for him to scrap...

    Kanan is (again) right. Mara has helped Luke; she hasn't failed. Fortunately, she accepts the truth in his words, and allows him to take the lead, if reluctantly.


    Kanan is not quite through dispensing wisdom and tough love. Coming up, a certain mooka is on the receiving end of one of Very Disappointed Space!Dad's talking-to's. :D
  23. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    To Ewok Poet and Findswoman: [:D] always!


    How did everything go so WRONG?

    My lessons with Mara were the BEST PART of being here on Yavin. Seeing Mara, talking to her, would always make me feel better no matter what else was going on, even when I got killed six times in flight sims or Janson short-sheeted my bunk again or there was nothing but apple slug stew in the mess hall. She always made me happy. She made me believe I could really be a Jedi.

    And now she HATES me.

    I lost track of how many times I got killed in sims today. Janson and Hobbie were teasing me worse than when I got into the touch-me-not bushes, and Wedge kept asking me what was wrong, but what could I say? I’m the Galaxy’s biggest idiot: my heart is BROKEN into TINY LITTLE PIECES, the woman I LOVE never wants to see me again, I’ll NEVER become a Jedi, and Ezra Bridger’s probably going to WREAK HORRIBLE VENGEANCE on me for writing Mara all those poems. I wish I could find a nice hole somewhere and crawl inside and DIE.

    Since I don’t know where there are any good womp rat burrows on Yavin, I wound up sitting on one of the lumpy couches in the common area when it would have been time for my Jedi lessons, reading this weird flimsi-mag called Empress!, which promised to tell me about the latest fashion on Coruscant (except it was three years old) and how to drive a man wild---not that I WANTED to know that, but the only other reading material in the common area was a repair manual for a Z-95 Headhunter and something written in Rodian with lots of pictures of swamps.. (and all I can say about that article in Empress is, do beings REALLY do those things? O__O)

    As I was sitting there, wondering if I should have chosen the repair manual instead, Leia came in, heading towards the hot water dispenser and the flimsi-plast cups for tea. She frowned when she saw me. “Luke! What are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to be at the Ghost right now?”

    “Not anymore. Mara hates me and she told me never to come back.” Saying it was like a TWISTING A VIBRO-SHIV IN MY HEART. I thought I knew what it to have a broken heart before, when I saw Mara and Ezra kissing :p …but it’s nothing compared to the AGONY of knowing she DESPISES ME. And my heartache bubbled over into this miserable wail: “She was my best friend! I think she understood me better than anyone--maybe not you, Leia-- but better than Han or Wedge or any of the guys!”

    “What?!?” Leia rushed over to to the couch without even getting her tea andplopped down next to me. “What happened?

    “It’s all that stupid Ezra's fault!” Stupid Ezra and his stupid poetry about shoving lightsabers up my nose! “He found one of the poems I wrote for Mara and started threatening me and…”

    Leia frowned at me and gave a quick shake of her head. “Wait a minute, you were writing poems to Mara?”

    “Well, yeah! I love her!” How could Leia forget about that? And I still love Mara! I’ll ALWAYS love her, even though she HATES ME! Even though I’m doomed to be ALONE FOREVER. Because once you lose your SOUL MATE, how can you even think about anyone else? “I know we were meant to be together. I was just trying to prove to her that I’m the better man, like Han said I should.”

    “Han said? You took romantic advice from Han Solo? Oh Luke…” She slumped forward and smacked her forehead with the palm of one hand. “Next time you need advice on women, ask me. Ask Wedge. Ask Chewbacca. Do not ask Han. His advice might work on the kind of women you pick up in seedy spaceport cantinas, but women like Mara…” She looked up and fixed me with a sharp glance, and it was like she could see RIGHT TO MY soul. “And just why were you writing her poetry anyway? You know she’s seeing Ezra.”

    Not Leia, too! Isn’t there someone out there who UNDERSTANDS ME? Who understands about TRUE LOVE? “But...he’s so…so...Ugh! He’s such a nerf-herder! Mara deserves someone better! Someone who really appreciates her. Someone…”

    “Someone like you?” Leia’s mouth twisted into a wry smile that quickly faded into a sigh. “Luke, Ezra’s a good guy. He’s been part of the Rebellion for five years. He’s helped a lot of people, done a lot of good things.”

    How could she say that?! “But he shot you!”

    It was probably a good thing that she hadn’t gotten a cup of tea after all, because she threw up her hands so quickly, I would have been splattered with hot Jardeeling. “Because I told him to! Weren’t you listening? We had to convince the Imperials that Alderaan had nothing to do with the Rebellion taking our ships. The best way to do that was to have Ezra stun me.” She looked at me the way Aunt Beru did that time that Windy and I rode a wild bantha into the Dune Sea. “Have you been holding that against him all this time? You know, you’d probably really like Ezra if you only gave him a chance.”

    I snorted. “I doubt that. He’s never been very friendly to me.”

    Now she looked at me the way Uncle Owen had when we rode the bantha into the Dune Sea. “You don’t think that could be because you’re trying to steal his girlfriend, do you?”

    “I’m not trying to steal Mara!” I wouldn’t do something like that! I mean, that’s something Fixer would have done, or Hobbie! I’m not like that! “I just wanted her to see we were meant to be together--the Force sent her here for me, after all!”

    Leia looked as unconvinced as if I’d told her I knew some great fishing spots on the Dune Sea. She raised skeptical eyebrow at me. “Writing another guy’s girlfriend poetry trying to make her fall in love with you? That’s pretty much the definition of trying to steal her. So Ezra doesn’t like you because you were trying to steal Mara,” she said, holding out her left hand. “And Mara’s not happy with you because she didn’t want to be stolen.” She held out her right hand and then gave me another pointed look, cocking her head to one side. “I’d say some apologies are in order all around if you really still want to be friends with her.”

    “Apologize to Ezra?!? He’s the one who ought to apologize to me! He said he was going to shove his lightsaber up my nose!”

    “Maybe he does owe you an apology, but that doesn’t change the fact that you owe him one.” Leia’s expression softened as she laid a hand on my shoulder. “Listen, Luke, if you really care about Mara as your best friend and not just a crush, somehow you’ve got to accept that she and Ezra are kind of a package deal. Being rude to him isn’t likely to help your case with her.” Her comlink buzzed, and she rose with another sigh.“I have to go-- meeting with the generals and Admiral Ackbar. Think about it. You can be Mara’s friend or you can keep insisting she’s your soulmate, but you can’t do both. You need to decide what’s really important to you.”

    She left me there, with nothing to do but flip through the pictures of Rodian swamps, which all kind of looked the same. I don’t know...I guess they were kind of pretty in weird soggy, drippy sort of way. They had lots of trees, anyway, and even if the trees were all covered with moss, they were still green...and all the green made me think of MARA again.

    I kept thinking about what Leia said--OF COURSE I still want to be friends with Mara! I mean, she’s smart and funny...and BEAUTIFUL. And nice. She was nice to me and listened to me, not because I was the Hero of Yavin, but just because I was Luke. She’s perfect, right? I couldn’t be wrong about us being soulmates, not the way I felt like I’d known her FOREVER when we just met! How am I supposed to to just GIVE UP on her? But I don’t know what would be worse: never seeing Mara again, or being Mara’s friend and watching her and Ezra together.

    I sat there pondering things as I looked at green swamps with green trees, and it made me start dreaming about GREEN EYES and FLAME RED hair with GREEN STREAKS. I heard an “ahem” and looked up to see a man in a green shirt. “Kanan!” I scrambled up from the couch. He can really move quietly for someone that tall. Maybe it comes from being a Jedi? “Hi! Did Mara send you? Tell her I’m sorry about what happened yesterday! Really, really sorry…”

    Kanan frowned--more than usual, that is. “No, Mara didn’t send me, and if you want to tell her you’re sorry, you’ll have to do that yourself. But I am here about what happened yesterday. We need to discuss your future as a Jedi.”

    “Oh.” That sounded promising. Right? Unless he meant I didn't have one. “Um, okay…”

    Kanan sat on the worn out sofa and gestured for me to join him. “Luke, do you understand what it means to be a Jedi?

    “Well...uh, it means, uh…” I sank down onto the couch next to him, fidgeting with my lightsaber’s hilt where it clipped onto my belt. OF COURSE I understood what it meant; it was just really HARD TO PUT IN WORDS. “It means you can use the Force. And you have a lightsaber…”

    “That’s only part of it,” he cut in. “A very small part. Lots of beings who aren’t Jedi can use the Force. The Inquisitors use the Force and have lightsabers. So do the Sith. To be a Jedi, you have to serve the Force. It means committing yourself and your whole life to that responsibility. It’s more than just being able to do some tricks or swing a lightsaber. And it’s much more than just a way to impress women.”

    “I….But, that’s not the only reason!”

    “Isn't it?” One corner of Kanan's mouth edged up sardonically and I think he raised an eyebrow underneath the mask he always wears. It’s kind of hard to tell, but you could hear the skepticism in those two words. I could even FEEL it coming from him. “That’s good. Now you have to ask yourself: what’s the main reason you want to be a Jedi? Are you ready and willing to make the kind of commitment it takes to be one? Because if this is just a game to you, if you’re only becoming a Jedi to get in Mara--or anyone else’s--good graces, I can’t help you.”

    I started to protest--I want to be a Jedi like my father! Like Ben! I have to become a Jedi! But he shook his head and held up one hand. “Don’t answer me now. Think about it--really think about it--tonight. I’ll find you tomorrow and you can let me know what your answer is.”

    He left before I could say anything else, and I stared at the Rodian swamp flimsi-mag for a while, thinking about what he said, about what Leia had said, about everything.

    If I’d never met Mara, would I still want to be a Jedi? Well, yeah, I wanted to even before I met her! Ben told me I should come with him and learn the ways of the Force, to be a Jedi like my father. But maybe that wasn’t a good enough reason for Kanan, either. So why did I really want to be a Jedi? To be like my father, who I’d never met, but who Ben said was a great pilot and a warrior? To be like Ben, who could make stormtroopers ignore us and fight Darth Vader? Should there be more to it than wanting to be like them? I thought about it all night. I couldn't even sleep, thinking about it.

    Kanan found me in the mess hall the next morning, half asleep and staring into my bowl of sludgy porridge. “So,” he said, sliding onto the bench across the table from me, “what did you decide?”

    I sighed and poked at my porridge halfheartedly, because it was kind of easier than looking at him. I wondered if I could explain everything that had gone through my mind while I was considering his questions. I wasn't sure it would make any sense to him; I wasn’t even sure it made sense to me. So I just started rambling. “I thought about it a lot last night and...well, the stormtroopers killed my aunt and uncle and burned our farm because they were looking for the Death Star plans. Darth Vader killed my father because he was a Jedi, and he killed Ben when he was protecting us. And the Empire destroyed an entire planet because Leia helped the Rebellion.” I finally got the nerve to look over at Kanan. His austere expression had softened a little, I thought, and that seemed like a good sign. I just hoped what I was going to say didn’t make me sound like a nerf-herding idiot… well, like MORE of a nerf-herding idiot. “I want to help stop the Empire from doing things like that again, whether I’m a Jedi or just a pilot. But when I used the Force, like Ben told me, it was easy to make that shot at the Death Star. It all made sense. It’s the only really important thing I’ve ever done in my life. And maybe...maybe if I become a Jedi, I can do more important things to stop the Empire.”

    Kanan smiled--like, a real, actual smile-- and held his hand out to me. “Then meet me at the Ghost before dinner.”
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Sweet awesome feels! :D

    Great talk with Leia and wonderful expressions of his true motives with Kanan. =D=

    He wants to stop oppression and make a difference [face_love] :D LOL Now that Luke knows he's not just trying to win Mara, I think his lessons will go much smoother. :) @};-
  25. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    [face_rofl] Oh, the irony. But she's spot on in her advice here. I love how compassionate she is to Luke without sugarcoating the fact that yes, he messed up big time in trying to "win" Mara when she was quite happily attached to Ezra and not looking to change that, thank you very much.

    So glad to see Luke actually looking at his motivations beyond his crush, because he cares about other people (and not just the ones with eyes like sparkling emerald swamp trees :p ) and there is a reason why he's with the Rebellion. Kanan gave him a lot to consider, there seems to be some hope that he'll start to grow up a little. It's no easy or painless process, but we know that Luke is entirely capable of doing the difficult but right thing.